WELSH Premier League champions The New Saints were left red-faced last week when the league trophy was stolen.
The record-breaking side, who claimed their eighth league title last Saturday, realised the £70,000 silverware, had gone shortly before it was due to be presented to captain Paul Harrison in front of hundreds of adoring fans and media at The Venue in Park Hall.
And in an embarrassing turn of events they had to make do with a mock trophy in its place – believed to be one belonging to the all-conqering under 19s side.
A TNS insider, revealed the missing trophy was recovered two days later.
He said: “It was definitely nicked from the office 20 minutes before kick-off.
The club insider told the Advertizer there won’t be an investigation into who stole the trophy, but added: “Everyone was just relieved that the cup was found.”
A spokesperson for the Football Association of Wales confirmed the blunder, adding: “It was quickly returned.”
The governing body refused to give any further information.
l It is not the first time a valuable item of sporting silverware has disappeared only to turn up later.
Famously in 1966 the £30,000 solid gold Jules Rimet trophy, presented to the football World Cup winners, disappeared in Central London. It was discovered a week later by Pickles the dog while he was being walked in south London.
The trophy vanished again in the 1980s and has never been recovered.